Literary Birthday – 9 April – Sam Harris

Happy Birthday, Sam Harris, born 9 April 1967.


  1. There is another possibility, of course, and it is both the most reasonable and least odious: the biblical God is a fiction. As Richard Dawkins has observed, we are all atheists with respect to Zeus and Thor. Only the atheist has realised that the biblical god is no different.
  2. It’s simply untrue that religion provides the only framework for a universal morality.
  3. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.
  4. We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That’s it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.
  5. My concern with religion is that it allows us by the millions to believe what only lunatics or idiots could believe on their own. That’s not to say that all religious people are lunatics or idiots.
  6. As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population.
  7. Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person’s thoughts.
  8. The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.
  9. The only angels we need invoke are those of our better nature: reason, honesty, and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which is surely the devil’s masterpiece.
  10. Theology is ignorance with wings.

Sam Harris is an American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist. He is the author of The End of Faith, which spent 33 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Non-fiction. His other books are Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, and Free Will.

Source for Image: Sam Lamott

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th April 2014